Library Makerspaces and Side Hustle Support

Library makerspaces can be excellent resources for side hustlers. Makerspaces vary from library to library, but can help with prototyping products, signage, design and editing software, textile work, media production, and experimentation. Sometimes, this support can be provide free for software related projects, or at cost for projects requiring material supplies.
Our makerspace here at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County provides 3D printing and scanning, sewing machines, a product photography table, a video green screen and lighting, cameras, a sound recording booth, Adobe software, large format printing, button makers, media conversion, a book printing machine, and a laser cutter/engraver. We also provide online instruction through
This support is great for inventors, photographers, videographers, fashion designers, bloggers, musicians, voice over work, graphic designers, writers, media converters, artists, and anyone in need of display/signage for their o…

Library Support for Side Hustlers

**I'm currently working on a library workshop to show side hustlers what kind of support they can receive from their local library. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts here.**

The topic I’m writing on at work is the intersection of the library and the user community--most specifically, the side hustle community. I’m trying to put together a series of guides, workshops, videos, etc. that will help people who are creating side businesses to get them off the ground.

What is a side hustle? "A side hustle is a business you run in your free time that allows you the flexibility to pursue what you're most interested in. It’s a chance to delve into food, travel, fashion, or whatever you’re passionate about whilst keeping your day job." ( Side hustlers are people looking to add some income from something they are passionate about, and, with our focus on lifelong learning, libraries are uniquely positioned …

Co-Working in Libraries: An Introduction

As our economy continues to change, it's becoming more and more important for libraries to offer resources to help people who are looking for new opportunities. As companies continue to shed jobs, replacing them with automation, it is becoming increasingly necessary for workers to rely on their own efforts. Providing co-working spaces is one way libraries can support people who are taking on roles as contractors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.
So what is co-working? According to David Lee King and Michael Porter in “Create a Library ‘Tech Shop’,” (American Libraries Magazine, March/April 2012, p. 57) co-working “...brings together independent workers, freelancers, small business owners, and others who need workspace. These folks regularly gather to brainstorm ideas, team up on projects, and work in a more social setting.” It can also be described as “...a recent movement of independent ‘workspaces’ that are created for remote workers, location neutral workers, and independent prof…

Sharing the Work

Working together, even to change the world, doesn’t have to involve a great deal of effort. In the spirit of the “work smarter, not harder” mantra, platforms for problem solving demonstrate that mass collaboration can result in successful projects while reducing each participant’s workload. Anthony D. Williams, PLATFORMS FOR   GLOBAL PROBLEM SOLVING: How Online  Platforms are RevolutionizingSocial Change
One of the benefits of Globally Distributed Creative Problem Solving is this ability to share the work of changing the world. In the face of a never-ending cycle of bad news, our natural reaction may be to turn away in defeat, thinking that the problems are too big for us to do anything about. What could we possibly do in the face of environmental and cultural inertia, a billion dollar lobbying industry, and years of poor education?
Well, hundreds of people around the world, using a simple disk and a data gathering app, can provide data that will help scientists create an accurate map …

Distributed Imagination

I want to start this post by explaining why yesterday's post was so, well, abbreviated. When I returned to blogging this week, I made a commitment that I would post 60 entries in 60 days. I really want to make it a habit to provide you with a daily summary of what I'm learning in this new venture.

The problem is, I'm still getting the hang of coming up with material on a daily basis. Looking back on yesterday, I see that I would be better off firing off a quick thought that I had, rather than trying to analyze an article when I don't have the time to do it justice. With that in mind, I will try to handle those situations better in the future.

So, with that out of the way, I would like to get back to the paper by John Seely Brown.

Rather than summarize it, I would like to single out one concept that I found to be extremely thought provoking. That would be the concept of a "network of imagination". This relates to what Brown sees as the importance of play, and …

John Seely Brown and Entrepreneurial Learning

I was reading an article this morning on the blog of Irving Wladawsky-Berger (which I highly recommend that you add to your feed reader) when I came across a couple of posts about John Seely Brown. Brown was chief scientist at Xerox for a number of years, and is now Independent Co-Chairman of Center for the Edge at Deloitte. The topic of the most recent post was Brown's paper "Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century".

It's been a busy day, so look for a better summary this weekend.

The Other Kind of Distributed Creative Problem Solving

According to an article posted in Techcrunch, IBM and its Watson project are teaming up with CVS to monitor customer data to pinpoint health problems before customers experience a medical crisis. The article reports that "CVS will allow Watson to scour many millions of data points from patient’s clinical records, medical claims, and fitness devices to go through the same cognition process as others within the Watson ecosystem, but the idea here is to aid CVS nurses and pharmacists in determining patient risk."

The network relies on the data that is recorded by humans and machines, processing it faster than humanly possible. This will be increasingly the case as technology progresses. We will find many more tasks for Watson (and others) to work on, hopefully increasing our problem solving pace.

I think, though, that Globally Distributed Creative Problem Solving by humans will result in a more human world. That is, if we continue to remove the obstacles to global cooperation. …